The Saint-Gaudens $20 gold double eagle is one of the most famed of every American coin types, acclaimed as one of the most beautiful and artistic numismatic designs ever before realized in the United States. Its presence came just at the insistence of chairman Theodore Roosevelt, who sought because that years come beautiful America’s humdrum coin designs.

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Saint-Gaudens’ joining in the process was intended to be more far-reaching than that turned the end to be. The artist set out come redesign every denomination the America’s turn around coinage however fell seriously ill before this setup could pertained to fruition. In fact, what we have in the form of the Saint Gaudens-designed $10 and also $20 gold coins to be made possible only due to the work-related of Saint Gaudens’ assistant Henry Hering.

The Mint’s an initial strikings of this $20 style came in the type of 2 dozen Proofs win in march of 1907, every coin requiring ripe impressions to realize the full information of Saint-Gaudens’ high-relief design.

The Mint’s engraving department, led by chef Engraver Charles Barber, was adamant that the high-relief models were fully impractical for use in striking circulating coins. Barber is often slandered in numismatic circles as being entitled, difficult to transaction with, and unprofessional to his peers in the U.S. Mint engraving department and to exterior artists.

This could not be farther indigenous the truth. And also in the situation of the dual eagle design, he to be absolutely correct! After a couple of versions of the twin eagle confirmed too difficult to strike, Barber amendment Saint-Gaudens’s design, lowering the relief so the coin could be struck with only one blow.

When the coins were ultimately released in 1907, they confirmed controversial together they short the nationwide motto “In God we Trust“, which president Roosevelt objected come on spiritual grounds. Also though the Coinage act of 1890 walk not incorporate that motto amongst the mandatory legends and inscriptions to be placed on U.S. Coins (perhaps an unintended omission), both Congress and also the public however wanted that there. The motto was revitalized (it was on the previous Liberty Head type) later on in 1908 by congressional action, which carried the double eagle right into compliance through the Act of march 3, 1865, the original mandate for the text.

There to be one more far-ranging modification of the dual eagle prior to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt finished circulating gold coinage in 1933. In 1912 the number of stars encircling Liberty top top the obverse was increased from 46 to 48, marking the addition of New Mexico and also Arizona to the Union.

The 1923 Saint-Gaudens $20 twin Eagle in Specific

The 1923 Saint-Gaudens $20 twin eagle has a mintage the 566,000. In a collection where therefore many vital issues have been shed to government seizure and also the melt pot, mintage totals are inefficient predictors of all at once rarity. As it stands, the 1923 sits among a operation of Philadelphia Mint issues starting in 1920 and also continuing v 1928 the comprises the main point of the generic Saint-Gaudens market.

The hatchet “generic” may be offputting to some however in the rare coin industry, “generic” is routinely applied to a coin that has however a simple value end the coin’s intrinsic worth. In the raw, an around Uncirculated or excellent Uncirculated instance would on regular basis trade in ~ the prevailing point out price. In certified grades of MS63 and MS64, this generic Saint-Gaudens issues carry a premium of roughly 15% end spot price.

The market values for 1923 Saint-Gaudens $20 twin eagles radically depart native this percentage at the grade MS65 and above. In MS65, the 1923 Saint sells for around $3,000. This is a 20% decrease in worth for the issue in this grade since 2009. A strong premium is available for CAC-approved instances at MS65. In lower grades, this is no necessarily the case.

The optimal certified grade because that the 1923 is MS66 and as the the day of publishing of this article, only PCGS reports examples at this class in that census. PCGS reports a populace of 6 pieces with 3 discrete examples portrayed on Coinfacts. The document price paid because that one at this level is $48,875, which to be paid for the Dr. Steven Duckor specimen (which we have used to illustrate this article). At the time of this sale, the Duckor item was one of only two graded at this level. The Duckor instance has because sold two more times: because that $36,800 in February 2008 and also for $40,250 in January 2012. More recently a various MS66 specimen brought $33,600 in a June 2019 heritage Auctions sale.

One significant factor driving increase the expense of the 1923 Saint Gaudens twin eagle in MS66, is not necessarily its rarity yet is actually the comparative lull of acquisition for the most affluent registry set participants. Whereas every grading allude helps this collectors acquire position in the set leaderboards, generic worries tend to provide a more affordable and an ext frequent chance to far better the set. Contrast the ease of acquisition of the ideal 1923 to any type of Mint State instance of the 1927-D and you will watch this factor at play.

Doubling earlier to one earlier component of this analysis where we discussed the term “generic”. It’s true the no 2 coins space alike and also that coins with impressive eye appeal wake up collectors nevertheless of rarity. The 1923 is a an excellent example that a coin that is traded in a variety of ways and also is to be considered differently depending upon a variety of factors that may seem obtuse come beginner collectors. That is a common date because that telemarketers and late-night coin shows, but at the greatest levels of the grading spectrum, where instances are few, that is additionally an problem that draws far-reaching interest in nationwide auctions.


The obverse attributes a full-length image of Liberty, encountering forward through an olive branch in her prolonged left hand and also a raised torch in her prolonged right. Draped in a long, flowing classical gown, her hair is brushed up to the left. Some describe her together striding forward, yet she appears instead to it is in in a pose; the foot of she left leg relaxing on a huge rock (in front of which space oak leaves). Come Liberty’s right, at the bottom the the coin, the sun is visible behind a explicate of the U.S. Capitol building. Rays indigenous the sun prolong upward indigenous behind the Capitol and also Liberty to about the level the Liberty’s waist. In ~ the peak of the coin is words LIBERTY, the torch separating I and B. Forty-eight tiny six-pointed stars are arrayed simply inside the level rim, forming a circle damaged only in ~ the bottom.

The date in ‘Arabic’ number is near the bottom ~ above the right; a monogram that the designer’s initials ASG is listed below the date.


The comb of the sun shows up again ~ above the reverse, in ~ the bottom through rays prolonging upward practically to the peak of coin behind a majestic left-facing eagle, wings uplifted in flight. In an arc over the sunlight is IN GOD us TRUST, the native separated by focused triangular dots. In ~ the top is UNITED states OF AMERICA in a concentric arc next to the flat rim, with TWENTY DOLLARS just below in another arc. The indigenous of both phrases space separated by centered triangular dots, and also the text is likewise in front of the sun’s rays.


The motto E PLURIBUS UNUM, in increased letters that alternate with 13 raised stars, is on the leaf of the coin.

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Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907) to be a European-educated American sculptor, noteworthy for countless public monuments and other works in the Beaux Arts style. Working with President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, the is responsible for some of the many beautiful numismatic designs in American history, such together the yellow $10 eagle and the gold $20 twin eagle.

Coin Specifications:

Year that Issue:1923
Denomination:20 Dollars (USD)
Mint Mark:None (Philadelphia)
Alloy:.900 Gold
Weight:33.44 g
Diameter:34.00 mm
OBV DesignerAugustus Saint-Gaudens
REV DesignerAugustus Saint-Gaudens
Quality:Business Strike

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